Busting The SSD Reliability Myth - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
5/28/2010
03:45 PM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
[Dark Reading Crash Course] Finding & Fixing Application Security Vulnerabilitie
Sep 14, 2017
Hear from a top applications security expert as he discusses key practices for scanning and securi ...Read More>>

Busting The SSD Reliability Myth

One of the most persistent myths surrounding solid state disk (SSD) is that it just isn't reliable. Like most myths, this one started with a grain of truth -- but didn't end that way.

One of the most persistent myths surrounding solid state disk (SSD) is that it just isn't reliable. Like most myths, this one started with a grain of truth -- but didn't end that way.As most of you know, SSD is a relatively new technology. A decade ago, it was still considered an exotic -- and outrageously expensive -- data storage option. A 64MB flash storage card for a digital camera was a big deal, never mind a multi-GB business-class mass storage device.

But price wasn't the only issue. SSD controllers -- the hardware that manages the process of reading and writing data -- varied wildly in their quality and reliability. Just a few years ago, buying a "budget" SSD drive meant buying a cheap controller that would fail at the drop of a hat.

And then there were the problems with "write fatigue." Simply put, you can only write data to a flash storage address block so many times before it goes kaput. This was a major headache in the past, when an SSD might deliver a few hundred thousand write cycles. That sounds like a lot, but it isn't.

What about today? For starters, manufacturers have steadily pushed the write endurance envelope. A good SSD may promise five million write cycles or more, and that number is climbing almost by the month.

Controllers have also gotten much better. While I might still stick with SSDs that use a top-class Intel controller for important business apps, less expensive SSDs with less expensive controllers are now fine for use in things like laptops.

Don't Miss: NEW! Storage How-To Center

But if you want to skip the technical details and get a good overview of SSD reliability these days, just look at the mean time before failure (MTBF) rating. A budget 128GB SSD drive, for example, can offer a MTBF of 1.5 million hours or more. And more expensive drives now offer MTBFs on a par with traditional SATA disk drives.

It is still true that with SSDs, you get what you pay for. But as SSD reliability continues to improve, it's also true that you're getting a lot more at any price point.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll